Scammers often quickly change their methods when old methods don’t work as well and to take advantage of new vulnerabilities. The IRS has announced that scammers who have been posing as IRS agents on the phone are moving to email with fake, although very convincing “bills,” from the IRS.
The email claims that the person receiving the email owes more in taxes because of the Affordable Car Act provisions. The letter asks you to send a check to the IRS at a post office box in Texas.
There are several things wrong about this email:
1. The IRS will not email bills to you. Any correspondence will be by US mail. And according to IRS special agent Ryan Thompson, “You’re not going to have the exact bill. It’s not going to say, hey, pay this thing right now. It gives you a process to follow up with the IRS.”
2. When you pay your federal income tax or late penalties or fees, you pay the US Treasury, not the IRS.
3. The IRS does not have you send mail to a post office box, they have you send mail directly to an IRS address.
So far scammers have made $47 million from this scam nationwide. One million of that in the State of Washington.
Be careful of any email. If you receive an email that looks like an IRS scam, the IRS asks that you forward it to email@example.com, then delete the email from your inbox.
The following link shows a sample of the email and has an interview with special agent Thompson:
Most scammers are based outside of the US borders, so it is difficult for our law enforcement agencies to apprehend and prosecute them. This story, however, talks about the arrest of 70 IRS scammers in India who were targeting Americans: